How Much Does a TV Converter Box Cost?
A digital TV converter box is a device connected to a standard analog TV set to allow it to receive digital broadcasts. Basically, this means that your old TV will be able to receive the same channels as a new TV.
The device, which is also called set-top converter box or digital TV adapter, is about the same size of a cable box. It is normally bought for an analog television with an over-the-air antenna signal.
How much does it cost?
- Depending on the brand and the features that it offers, the TV converter box can range anywhere from as little as $25 to as much as $100.
- For instance, at Walmart.com, the Access HD 1080D, Over-Air Digital-Analog Tuner Converter Box retails for about $25. The installation involves attaching the antenna of an analog and digital-ready TV to the back of the TV converter box. This will convert the digital signals into an analog TV signal format.
- Various brands of TV converter boxes at Amazon.com range anywhere from about $11 to $90, depending on brand, features and capabilities.
What is going to be included?
- TV converter boxes come in different varieties, ranging from models with basic boxes created to bring digital signals to an analog TV to boxes that are HD-capable and come with built-in hard drives that serve as an alternative to cable TV and satellite TV providers. Models may be built with programmable timers, which allow users the option to schedule automatic recordings on various channels. Others come with tuners that have the capability to draw in weaker signal stations.
- Additionally, many TV converter boxes can feed standard definition video to older analog TVs and there is also a digital audio output designed to bring Dolby Digital surround sound to an external audio setup. There are also other features such as the ability to rewind, pause, or fast-forward live programs when watching recorded shows. Some units are designed to store 30 hours of HD programming or 250 hours of standard-definition TV.
What are the extra costs?
- The items that need to be obtained separately include the batteries and an antenna. TV converter boxes also come with batteries, with many models designed to use 2 AAA batteries, which can cost $8 for a 16-pack to $37 for 100 pieces of alkaline batteries sold in bulk.
- Antennas can cost $8 for a basic HDTV-compatible indoor antenna to $86 for a long range UHF/VHF Indoor/Outdoor DTV antenna with a 20-inch mount.
Tips to know:
- Check what kind of video connection is required from the TV converter box to the TV. This depends on the configuration and inputs of the system. An ideal system would be that which offers coaxial and composite video outputs along with an S-video and a reliable antenna.
- Make sure the antenna is properly positioned. A smart antenna is recommended for the best digital signal. It automatically adjusts for better reception when there are interferences. It is also useful for homes in low-receptions areas.
- If you are not using a smart antenna, a good alternative is to use a longer axial cable than the one that comes with the box. A longer cable enables you to move the antenna away from the box when needed.
How can I save money?
- Check for online coupons offering discounts for TV converter box purchases. Some coupons provide up to 13% savings to customers who like the online store’s Facebook page. In addition, check for promotions and special deals offered during major national events and holidays, which offer buyers up to 12% off on specific products.
- Consider buying a used TV converter box. Many online stores provide deep discounts on used and open-box units.
- In this day and age of digital and HD electronics, you are inevitably going to need a new TV. If you are going to have to purchase a new one anyway, you might as well just do it now to save money on a TV converter.